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JamSports, Clear Channel Head To Court

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — JamSports and Clear Channel Entertainment are headed to court two years after JamSports filed an antitrust lawsuit against Clear Channel Entertainment. The suit, filed in April 2002 in the Northern District in Illinois, accuses Clear Channel of using monopolistic practices to obtain a Supercross dirt bike racing contract. JamSports charges that CCE leveraged their concerts and other motorsports events to "entice venues to exclude JamSports" from promoting Supercross events.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly, who dismissed 11 of 12 charges, wrote in a 46-page opinion, that enough evidence exists to proceed with an antitrust lawsuit against Clear Channel Entertainment. A jury trial is set for Nov. 15 in Chicago.

JamSports was initially awarded the AMA-sanctioned Supercross Series from 2003-2009, but Clear Channel, a longtime producer of AMA supercross events, wound up with it.

In a statement JamSports said that Clear Channel, “used its market power in the music concert business to leverage its way to exclude competitors such as JamSports from gaining access to the prime stadiums where Supercross has been successfully promoted by Clear Channel for several years.”

"When I began calling stadiums throughout the United States, I was told by several that they did not want to give JamSports a date to hold Supercross because of Clear Channel – and we were virtually shut out of most every key stadium we contacted,” said Jerry Mickelson, a JamSports principal, in the OC Register.

”The record will show that Clear Channel’s strategy was to crush, kill and destroy JamSports,” Mickelson told The New York Times. “And their conduct, as shown by the evidence in this case, rivals that of Enron, MCI and Adelphia.” – Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner